Motivation Theory

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Abraham Maslow Pages: 7 (2303 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Motivation Theory
In this competitive market it is easy to replicate products, but cannot replicate motivated employees. The important factor to achieve success in the business is that the manager should have the ability to understand and motivate their employees. Since every individual employee is different from others so it can be challenging to understand each employee’s need and to apply the right motivational theory. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow’s theory is focused on hierarchy of need which motivates employee at work. The hierarchy of needs are physiological, security need, social need, esteem need and self-actualization (Robbins & Judge, 2011). It has been suggested (Steers & Mowday & Shapiro, 2004) that once the individual fulfil their basic needs they move up the hierarchy and try to achieve the next need. Maslow (1954) argues that the satisfied need no longer motivates. Thus, once a need is satisfied, an individual seeks to achieve the next level, as only the unmet need motivates. When applied to work, the theory implies that managers must understand the current need level of each employee to know what will motivate them. A new hire that has been unemployed for an extended time will likely be motivated by the physiological need for basic survival. On the other hand, an employee concerned with career advancement may be looking to achieve self-actualization. Steers, Mowday and Shapiro (2004) suggest that healthy personality can be developed when the employee have satisfied lower order need, also called deficiency need whereas higher order need represent growth need that relates to individual achievement and the development of potential. Schwartz, (1983) argues that in Maslow’s theory people cannot move up to next level of hierarchy if they have not satisfied the lower level but in reality people irrespective of the hierarchy will derive motivation depending on the situation and circumstances. However, this problem can be solved by Alderfer’s ERG theory, which is adaptation of Maslow’s theory. Alderfer (1972) argues that since more than one need arise simultaneously the lower-level need can be activated when a higher-level need cannot be satisfied. Criticisms of the Need Hierarchy Theory

Although Maslow’s theory is logical and easy to understand, it is not validated by concrete research and studies (Robbins & Judge, 2011). Usher (2000) argues that since Maslow’s hierarchy is biological, the organizational outcome is not achieved owing to different biological features of different individuals making them differ in self-actualization process. Besides, there is very little evidence to support the ranking of needs and existence of hierarchy that is rigid (Wahba & Bridwell, 1973). Application of Maslow’s Theory at Starbucks

According to Maslow the lower order need can be externally satisfied and higher order needs are internally satisfied (Robbins & Judge, 2011). Similarly at Starbucks the physiological needs and safety needs were satisfied by paying high wages to their employees compare to their competitors and since employee were partners they were entitled to one-fifth of the shares granted every succeeding year. And provided health care benefits to part-timers working for more than 20 hours same as full-time employee, which would not only motivate the employees but cut down the cost of hiring new employee resulting low turnover. Starbucks satisfied higher order needs like social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization by turning the employees into partners by selling certain percentage of company’s share. Where the employee felt accepted and sense of belongingness which motivated them to increase their performance which leads to increase in productivity and low absenteeism. And Starbucks formed self-manage work team where employees were involved in decision making, they were encouraged to share their problems with senior executives and company policy were changed according to...

References: Alderfer, C.P. 1972. Existence, relatedness and growth: Human needs in organizational settings. New York: Free Press.
Carrell, M.R. & Dittrich, J.E. 1978. Equity theory: The recent literature, methodological considerations, and new directions. The Academy of Management Review, 3, 2: 202-210.
House, R. & Wigdor, L. (1967). “Herzberg 's dual-factor theory of job satisfaction and motivation”: a review of the evidence and a criticism. Personnel Psychology, 20, 4, pp. 369-387.
Huseman, R., Hatfield, J. & Miles, E. (1987). A new perspective on equity theory: the equity sensitivity construct. Academy of Management Review, 12, 2, pp. 222-234.
Kuvaas, B. (2006). Work performance, affective commitment, and work motivation: the role of pay administration and pay level. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 27, pp. 365-385.
Maslow, A. 1954. Motivation and personality. New York: Harper.
Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. 2011. Organizational Behavior. (14th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education.
Schwartz, H. (1983). “Maslow and the hierachical enactment of organizational reality”. Human Relations, 36, 10, pp. 933-956.
Steers, R., Mowday, R
Usher, J.M. 2000. Dialogue, Comment on socioevolutionary theory. Academy of Management Review, 25, 4: 696-701.
Theory." Paper presented at the American Psychological Association
Convention, New York, September, 1966.
Wahba, M.A. & Bridwell, L.G. 1973. Maslow reconsidered: A review of research on the need hierarchy theory. Academy of Management Proceedings, 514-520.
Wood, J., Chapman, J., Fromholtz, M., Morrison, V., Wallace, J., Zeffane, R.M., Schermerhorn, J.R., Hunt, J.G. & Osborn, R.N. 2004. Organizational Behavior: A Global Perspective. (3rd ed.). Australia: John Wiley & Sons.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Motivation Essay
  • Motivation Theory Essay
  • Motivation Theories Essay
  • Theories of Motivation Essay
  • Motivation and Points Essay
  • Hr Performance Issues and Motivation Essay
  • Managing Employee Motivation and Performance Essay
  • Theories of Work Motivation Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free